Blog: Passion explodes over Cleveland Browns' win

10:52 PM, Nov 25, 2012   |    comments
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I may have figured out why emotions run so unbelievably high for fans of college and NFL football. See if you agree.

The regular season in college football is 12 games and the regular season in the NFL is 16 games. That means your team has only a dozen or so chances to win. Each game -- depending on the rival -- is three hours of intense back-and-forth.

Yes, there are special rivalries that take that fervor to a fever pitch and there's lots of "trash talking" between the fans. Yes, the Cleveland Browns came into Sunday's game against the Pittsburgh Steelers with a 2-8 won-loss record.

Before beating the Steelers 20-14 -- with some help from 3rd-string QB Charlie Batch and some uncharacteristically "bad hands" Steelers' receivers -- we had only beaten the Bengals and the Chargers.

But we are now 3-8 and the only bright spot in our 2012 season may be beating the Steelers. No matter what the rest of the season brings, the Browns beat the Steelers this year and I can't tell you how many people are just thrilled.

We are a young team and Browns President Mike Holmgren announced afterwards that he is leaving the team immediately. We need fresh eyes and a fresh perspective to pull it all together. New Browns owner Jimmy Haslam is likely the man to bring that.

All that being said, it's easy to get riled up and stay riled up for 17 weeks every fall, with (usually) seven days between games.

Now compare that to a Major League Baseball season with 162 games stretched out over six months with multiple games a week. Or how about the National Hockey League (usually) with 82 games, 41 at home and 41 away. Ditto for the NBA with 41 at home and 41 away.

In my opinion, and I stress that this is my opinion, trying to sustain fervor and massive passion for that long is just not possible.

And while there are loyal MLB/NHL/NBAfans, there just isn't enough sustained emotion to reach the screaming, intense taunts and cheers between football fans week after week after week.

That all being said, I rest my case.

But I can't let this weekend recap end without mentioning my other passion -- Notre Dame's Fighting Irish.

Late Sunday night, with the release of the penultimate BCS standings, it appears the winner of the SEC Championship Game will likely join the Fighting Irish in South Beach.

Alabama (11-1) and Georgia (11-1) were both No. 2 and No. 3, respectively, in the poll last week and remained in the same positions following blowout wins against rivalry opponents.

Alabama and Georgia will square off next Saturday in Atlanta in the SEC title game in what amounts to a de facto national semifinal.

While the Crimson Tide and Bulldogs still have work to do, the Fighting Irish finished off their 12-0 regular season with a victory at Southern California on Saturday night to stay atop the BCS poll.

Notre Dame, which vaulted into the top spot last week thanks to losses by Kansas State and Oregon, is No. 1 in both human polls and in the computers for a near perfect .998 BCS average.

Now my Irish are in a waiting pattern -- first for a week to see who they will play and then a month until the Jan. 7 BCS championship game. Still hope the Tide rolls over Georgia, and not just for my sake.

It would be a great game.


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